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PCBs in oil target of EPA action in Oregon

April 4, 2013 at 6:58 AM

SEATTLE, April 4 (UPI) -- An oil refining company in Portland, Ore., is called on to incinerate 150,000 gallons of oil contaminated with PCBs, the Environmental Protection Agency said.

Polychlorinated biphenyls were banned for use in the United States in 1979. A carcinogen, PCB was used in motor oil and hydraulic systems fluids. PCBs don't readily break down naturally in the environment.

The EPA issued an order to Oil Re-Refining Co., which has headquarters in Oregon, saying it needs to properly dispose of PCB-laden oil at a Portland facility by 2016 or face a $450,000 penalty.

The agency said the company is storing a "significant amount" of contaminated oil at its Oregon facility. In 2010, it stored and processed more than 150,000 gallons of contaminated oil in violation of federal requirements.

"Our vigorous and fair enforcement helps protect both communities and environmentally safe businesses," regional EPA Manager Kelly McFadden said in a statement from Seattle.

There was no public comment available from the company. On its website, the company states that it's leading the oil recycling industry "with new technology and award winning environmental processes."

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